1. Be honest with those you are with.
When I knew that I needed some time out, I told them I was going to stay in the room on my own for a bit and catch up with them shortly. The kids were disappointed, and I had to try to eliminate the feelings of guilt this stirred up in me. In reality though, a quick ten minutes lying on the bed and calming my mind was all I needed to be up and ready to go again.
2. Ensure you speak up and your needs are taken into consideration by others.
One of the day trips we had the option to take was a full day out on an island, and I knew it would be too much for me, so I spoke up. Instead we compromised on two shorter day trips, and everyone was happy. The kids even got to see dolphins!
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3. Use a daily schedule to bring back an element of control.
This is actually quite easy at some resorts where there are set mealtimes, and these really did give us a backbone to each day. But you can set your own schedule as well, building in set times for a morning routine or a midday rest as well as meals. In my case, I made sure that I stayed out of the heat of the midday sun, and I took time to chill out every evening, so that when it was time to sleep, I was already as calm and relaxed as I could be.
4. Focus on the positives.
Whenever I did feel overwhelmed, I reminded myself that we were only there for a week and might never go back. The weather was beautiful, my skin was starting to tan, everyone was having a fantastic time and the water slides at the pool took me happily back to my childhood. Not every situation will have so many positives, but most vacations involve somewhere special — even if overstimulating — and the chance to make memories.
5. Learn and adapt for next time.
The trip would have been so much better without the music. Perhaps for future vacations, I’ll research resorts differently — and maybe even contact them to ask about music and their noise policy. (I’ll also know that my noise-canceling headphones are indispensable, and perhaps expand my toolkit for more noise-reduction options — like earplugs for naptime.)
Sometimes as HSPs, we have to do things that are not suited to us and this can be really difficult, potentially having a lasting effect on our wellbeing. I hope this article shows you how much control you really do have, and that there are tools you can use to help. And I’m curious: Have you had a similar experience? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.